Ash Taylor ignited the Titans to an emphatic and historic 18-6 win over the bumbling Broncos at Cbus Super Stadium to consign their near neighbours to a club-record ninth consecutive defeat.
It was the first time in Titans, or any previous Gold Coast side’s, history that they had beaten the Broncos twice in a season after winning the round seven clash 30-12 at Suncorp Stadium.
"I am proud of that. To be part of the first Titans side to win twice over the Broncos is fantastic," said coach Justin Holbrook.
"And in particular for a guy like Jai Arrow who is moving on, so he gets to go out with a couple of good wins over the Broncos.
"I know us Queensland sides haven’t set the world on fire this year but to finish as the top side, I am proud of that and of this club."
Match: Titans v Broncos
Round 18 -
Venue: Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
The scoreboard did not reflect the Gold Coast’s dominance in a match where five-eighth Taylor set up one of the tries of the year with a line break straight after half-time against his former club.
Brisbane back-rower David Fifita showed glimpses of why the Titans went all out to recruit him on a three-year deal but was mostly contained.
Fifita and utility Cory Paix both dropped the ball over the line when tries beckoned in what was a typically inept display by Brisbane in attack.
Titans go the length to move further in front
The Titans moved to 14 competition points and 12th position on the ladder with the win and will finish the season as the dominant Queensland-based club.
The Broncos remain in 15th position on six points in what has been the direst year in the club’s history.
Taylor was at his creative best in the match and landed three goals from as many attempts to completely outplay his opposite number Sean O’Sullivan.
The Broncos scrambled well early in defence to deny the Titans and opened the scoring when an alert Darius Boyd pounced on an O’Sullivan grubber after it took a deflection.
The Gold Coast hit back with hooker Mitch Rein barging over the top of his opposite number Issac Luke from close range to make it 6-all after 12 minutes.
Captain and half Jamal Fogarty then lobbed a perfectly weighted kick over the head of Corey Oates who fumbled. Titans back-rower Sam Stone was on hand to score and give the Titans a 12-6 lead.
All eyes were on Fifita and he seemed certain to make the club he is joining next year pay with a rumble over the tryline before a desperate Corey Thompson tackle jolted the ball from his grasp.
Rein goes himself
The Titans led 12-6 at the break but the margin did not reflect their dominance.
Taylor ignited his side in the second half when he ran from inside his own 10-metre line and found Jai Arrow in support. Don and Thompson combined to send Young Tonumaipea over for a 95-metre special.
The match was then marred by errors with Paix’s fumble highlighting the lack of confidence and polish the Broncos played with.
Brisbane did defend with more defiance than they showed when Anthony Seibold was the coach but never looked like beating a far superior Titans outfit.
Oates fails to diffuse kick and Stone is there for the Titans
The win was the Titans' third in a row and the side is now taking shape as one that has to be beaten. They won’t beat themselves.
"It is just about being consistent as coaches with our messages. It can’t change that quickly. It is about the repetition of standards that we want to live by and perform by and the boys over time have bought into it," Holbrook said.
"We had to work hard tonight. We didn’t play great in the second half but we defended so well and that is what the best sides do."
Boyd pounces on a Titans mistake